Rick Perry and border security

Rick Perry, shown here sending National Guard troops toward the Texas-Mexico border in July 2014, often makes flawed claims about the border (Ralph Barrera, Austin American-Statesman)
Rick Perry, shown here sending National Guard troops toward the Texas-Mexico border in July 2014, often makes flawed claims about the border (Ralph Barrera, Austin American-Statesman)

Rick Perry, like many Republicans, frequently raises doubts about federal efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

The former Texas governor, who's expected to declare his 2016 candidacy for president this week, also has gotten his facts wrong on border-related claims.

Some highlights:

--In August 2014, Perry said on CNN the United States was at "historic record highs" of individuals being apprehended on the border from countries with terrorist ties such as "Pakistan or Afghanistan or Syria." Pants on Fire, PolitiFact concluded, noting the most recent data didn't show record apprehensions of individuals from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria or any designated terrorist countries, nor did it show an upward trend in apprehensions of individuals from those areas.

--A month earlier, Perry asserted that 3,000 homicides had  been committed by by "illegal aliens" over the previous six years. Pants on Fire, we found, in that a government presentation he relied on indicated that since 2008 in Texas, more than 200,000 arrested immigrants -- foreign nationals living there with or without legal permission -- had among them accumulated 3,070 homicide charges (not convictions) in their lives. Put another way, for this declaration to hold water, one would have to assume illegal immigrants committed nearly half of the state’s homicides since 2008; we found no such data.

--Perry correctly said in June 2014 that a record number of non-Mexicans was being apprehended at the border; we marked this claim True. But we rated Pants on Fire this connected statement by the governor: "These are people that are coming from states like Syria that have substantial connections back to terrorist regimes and terrorist operations." Less than 5 percent of "other than Mexican" apprehensions in the latest two completed federal fiscal years involved people from U.S.-designated terrorist states or safe havens, according to federal data. Perry, in contrast, placed all such people being apprehended by U.S. border officials into that category, a conclusion he didn't back up with evidence.

For a full perspective, see Perry's complete Truth-O-Meter report card here.

What else?